The Ten Commandments



image: The Ten Commandments, 1956 – Paramount Pictures


Well, I not sure if Moses knew anything about it… But there are Ten Commandments of the Responsible Pet Owner. Maybe they were not written in stone but it’s good to know about them.

Every year hundreds of pets are abandoned by their owners all over the world, they are left homeless roaming in the streets, neglected with no food or water in an empty house or  surrendered to an animal shelter.

In order to prevent all this, even before  buying or adopting a pet, every owner should consider:

1- Commitment

The lifespan of a dog or cat is aproxemately 10 to 20 years.The owner should consider that his/her  pet  will need proper nutrition and health care and it can be costly. It should also be a family/couple decision and  all family members should agree and help. 

2- Lifestyle vs. Pet Temperament

Do you have an active lifestyle? Do you like doing outdoors activities? Or do do prefer spend the weekend reading in a quiet environment? Choosing the right pet breed is very important to avoiding any unrealistic expectations or frustrations with your pet. 

3- Protection

Make sure your pet is protected against diseases taking her to the veterinarian for vaccines and annual check-ups. Don’t let your pet outside in the elements; give them proper shelter, food and water. Never let your pet locked inside the car in the Summer. 

4- Keeping Your Cat Indoors

A cat should always live indoors to prevent that she could be hit by a car, abused by kids, and/or attacked by animals – dogs, hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, alligators or bears. Keeping your cat inside also avoids that the she won’t prey on the wildlife affecting the ecosystem.

5- Being a Good Citizen 

A responsible dog owner always maintains his/her dog on a leash (unless in a dog park  or in a dog-friendly beach), and always clean after her.

6- Love and Afection

Recognize your pet needs giving her love and affection. Consider hiring a pet sitter or enrolling your pet at a pet daycare if you don’t have enough time.

7- Training

Giving basic training to your dog will teach her proper behavior like walking on a leash, avoid jumping when you come home and  waiting for her food.

8- Identification

Some states require proper identification on the pet’s collar. Any kind of identification will help to find your pet in case she gets lost or run away (they can be startled be loud noise or  fireworks). Another very common form of identification is the microchip , tattoo and dog GPS tracker.

9- Spay and Neuter

A litter of puppies or kittens can be very charming, but everything changes when they start to get older and there is no much space in the house for all of them, not to mention the cost of vaccines and veterinary appointments. Spay and neuter is a responsible way to avoid overpopulation of stray cats and dogs as I mentioned before in another post.(Spay & Neuter. )

10- Adopt, Don’t Shop

If you decide to buy a puppy or a kitten don’t buy from a pet store, because most of the pet stores do sell puppy mill puppies. Puppy  mills are a very cruel way to breed dogs and cats, for they are kept in a very inhumane and filthy condition and people just care about making profit.You will need to find a responsible breeder and visit the premises to make sure all puppies and kittens are living in a loving and healthy environment.

The best alternative is to adopt.Adopting a pet who needs a home is one of the best things you’ll ever do. Animal shelters and rescue groups always try to find the right match for their animals and provide all medical attention their cats/dogs need, and there are some many pets in need for a loving home.


Nora is a beautiful cat for adoption at Gifford Cat Shelter.  Photo by Ruth Szwarcbart – May 2016. All rights reserved.

More information about Nora and other cats at



The Humane Society of United States –

Arca Brasil –

American Veterinary Medical Association –